tv The Ed Show MSNBC August 22, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PDT
the second he voiced the word legitimate, he was calling into question the voracity of women on a stand in a courtroom. why would he do such a thing? that's the question he needs to answer, and the voters of missouri are going to keep asking if as long as he stands out there as a candidate. that's "hardball" for now. "the ed show" with ed schultz starts now. welcome to "the ed show," i'm ezra klein in for ed schultz tonight. we have an amazing show on tap. we'll tell you about the most amazing part of the romney/ryan budget that people aren't talking about, but need to be. and by the way, it's not medicare. and we'll also tell you how and why the president is getting outspent and out-raised this campaign and what it could mean this november. we've got some nice coup de graces on those. and you'll want to see them. and then there's todd akin, boy, is there todd akin. as ed would say, let's get to work. deadlines. deadlines are exciting in politics. they're just great.
if you're a reporter, you're always just kind of waiting there for something to happen. it's a problem. it's my problem. deadlines mean something has to happen. it's great. but today we had a truly exciting and unlikely deadline on our hands. one we didn't expect even a week ago. by 5:00 p.m. central time, republican senate candidate todd akin, he had the theory that the female reproductive system includes some kind of spermacide. this is a really big deal. as my friend rachel maddow explained last night, she hosts "the rachel maddow show". you've probably heard of it. it's terrific. you should watch it every day. if akin didn't drop out today, it becomes really hard for him to drop out. he's got to get a court order. it's a total mess. but today we heard akin's decision, which was the most welcome big-d decision since lebron james decided to take his talents to south beach.
>> right off the bat to make things clear, i want to make things absolutely clear, which is we're going to continue with this race for the u.s. senate. >> for two days, establishment republicans and tea party conservatives alike have pressured, have begged akin to please leave the race. get out of there. but akin explained on mike huckabee's radio show that his comments about legitimate rape and female bodies having ways to, quote, shut that whole thing down, will not keep him from seeking higher office. >> i've had a chance now to have run through a primary and the party people said, when you win the primary, then we'll be with you. well, they were with us, but then i said one word and one sentence on one day and everything changed. >> and there's the rub. akin is still convinced, or is at least telling us that he's convinced that his mistake involved, quote, one word and one sentence. he echoed this sentiment in a new campaign ad that aired in missouri. >> rape is an evil act. i used the wrong words in the
wrong way, and for that i apologize. the mistake i made was in the words i said, not in the heart i hold. i ask for your forgiveness. >> the words todd akin said were "legitimate rape." he says those words were a mistake. todd akin believes if he had said the right words, none of this would have happened. and maybe he's right, if he would have phrased this right way, and not come up with some cockamamy theory about the women's reproductive system, we wouldn't be having this conversation. but if we weren't having this conversation, this conversation would still be happening. not the one over akin's dumb comment, the one over the actual policies akin's dumb comment was meant to defend, which is why the most instructive and politically fascinating part of today's mike huckabee radio show was not, in fact, the portions with todd akin on it, it was the guest mike huckabee brought on the program immediately following todd akin. >> i don't know of anybody who is a more credible spokesperson
to talk about the issue of life and the sanctity of human life from the perspective of one who herself, um, is the result of a rape. rebecca keeszling joins me now. >> rebecca kiessling is an anti-abortion activist, using her own story. mike huckabee was promoting the passage of state personhood amendments. on kiessling's website she writes, i strongly support everyone to support person he'd amendments. all of this effort is in aid of defining a person from the moment of conception, which would prevent abortions in virtually all cases ever. this is a major policy agenda of mike huckabee's huck pac, which gives money to candidates and causes a line with the pro-life movement. one of those candidates, hey, todd akin.
mike huckabee, the runner-up for the republican presidential candidate in 2008 is the de facto architect of the keep todd akin on the ballot in missouri fund, which brings us back to todd akin's quote/unquote mistake. akin confirmed that he had meant to use a term, not legitimate rape, but forcible rape. now, forcible rape was the language, the specific two words adopted by the house republicans, incoming todd akin and vice presidential candidate paul ryan, for hr-3, the no taxpayer fundings for abortions act. forcible rape would mean, for instance, that a 13-year-old girl who is impregnated by a 40-year-old man, a situation which no one believes there could be real consent, it would mean that the girl cannot get federal help in that bill if she needed an abortion, because the rape wasn't forcible, the exception didn't cover her. much like the personhood bills, the designation of forcible rape would narrow the exceptions to any laws banning abortions. now, due to an uproar by civil rights, they agreed to drop the forcible rape language from the legislation.
but the intentions behind the provision still to do. governor bob mcdonnell of virginia he knows about a mistake kind of like this one. the outcry over the transvaginal ultrasound law prompted them to drop it. so surely, they sympathize with him, but maybe he's angry add him, too. mcdonnell led the committee as they adopted the party planks. just as in 2008, they adopted support for a human life amendment which would overturn roe v. wade and ban abortions under the protections of the 14th amendment. without the todd akin flap, this event would have been as proforma as it was un298. now, everyone is watching it. here's the thing, if you really believe what these folks say they believe, what these folks believe, that a fetus is a full human from the instant of conception, these don't make sense. the fact there is a rape, as awful as there is, does not mean there can subsequently be a murder. they're about making that
exception small as possible. which is a fetus is a whole person from the beginning. this is why pro life groups have stood by todd akin, because he stands by them all the way. but most americans, 75%, according to gallup, don't. they want exceptions for rape and for incest. mitt romney running for president knows this. he's always said he supports those exceptions. and he is still today calling for todd akin to drop out of the race. said today, his fellow missourians urged him to step aside and i think he should accept their counsel and exit the senate race. he knows another day has gone by without the discussion of the economy, indeed, today, democrats have labeled the human life amendment of the gop platform the akin plank. romney wants this to stop. but todd akin doesn't want to stop. he wants to win. and then he wants to go to
washington and fight for his ideas. the ones that were behind his comment. joining me now is michelle goldberg author of the "means of reproduction, sex, power, and the future of the world." always good to see you. >> you, too. >> you have done as much work on this, reproductive politics as anyone. so if you take akin's somewhat bizarre comment out of the fold, get rid of his odd biology lesson, how in or out of the republican or pro life mainstream are his actual policy idea? >> that's what's so fascinating. his ideas about reproductive biology have some precedent in the pro life movement, including this guy, john wilke, who was a major romney surrogate in 2008. but that aside, this belief there should be no exceptions in cases of rape and incest, no exceptions really except to save the life of the mother, has gone in a really short amount of time from being a fringe position in the republican party to being the normative position in the republican party.
mitt romney was the only one of the presidential contenders or of the republican contenders for the nomination who believed there should be exceptions. his vice presidential candidate like mccain's vice presidential candidate believes there should be no exceptions in cases of rape and incest. the platform says there should be no exceptions. many of the major speakers at the convention believe there should be no exceptions. this is the republican party position. what is fascinating is that people like me who pay close attention to this, who have been writing about it for a while, talking about it for a while, this has awoken many other people. you mentioned bob mcdonnell. >> the governor of virginia. >> something similar happened with the transvaginal ultrasounds. all of a sudden, somehow, it kind of came to everyone's attention and people realized just how crazy things had gotten. >> what is happening in the pro life movement of the republican party that has allowed this to break out? as you said, the party platform, the normative beliefs in the
republican presidential field, these have become significantly more radical or pure, however you want to put it, in recent years. what has allowed that to break forward? >> you have a dual radicalization. a radicalization of the republican party exemplified by the tea party movement and party establishment leaders losing control of, you know, they had kind of built up this right wing grassroots and then the grassroots kind of took over. so you see again and again and again these, you know, with the exception of wisconsin, you constantly see establishment candidates losing to kind of fiery grassroots insurgents. the republican party never wanted todd akin to be the nominee in the race. similarly, you had a radicalization in the political arm of the pro life movement, with the rise of personhood, who was initially really rejected by the leaders of the pro life movement as being counter productive, you know, they had
before taken on a kind of much more incremental strategy, a new generation has said no, we want to go for broke on this. >> michelle goldberg, this is why you should be reading her columns for years. helpful to figure out what is going on. >> coming up, could todd akin's senate run spoil the gop's plans to take the senate? it could not be the first time the tea party gave harry reid a big gift. stay tuned. you're watching "the ed show" on msnbc. those little things still get you. for you, life's about her. but your erectile dysfunction - that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure.
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coming up, just like the tea party candidates of 2010, todd akin's refusal to drop his bid for claire mccaskill's senate seat could be a spoiler for the republican party. a big one. howard fineman will weigh in on that next. this election has focused a lot on the future of medicare, but the gop's program for medicaid and other programs for the poor are far more drastic. >> and one area president obama is trailing mitt romney, campaign fund-raising.
you've been paying attention to politics the last couple years, you might think the democrats and the tea party can't agree on so much. debt, taxes, abortion, whether the president is born in hawaii and is a socialist. but they do have one surprising zone of being just in lock step. who the republican nominee for senate should be in key competitive races that might end up decided who wields the gavel
in the upper chamber. 2010 was a golden opportunity for republicans to take over congress. they had it all mapped out, top to bottom. you take the house, you take the senate, and even better, you take out the kingpin in the senate, harry reid, who was polling terribly in nevada. in january 2010, a serious opportunity for republicans. and then the primaries happened. and the gop which had plenty of good choices nominated a bunch of whack-a-loons in key states. in colorado, ken buck beat the establishment candidate. he questions the constitutionality of social security and said we should close down the department of education and lost to the democratic incumbent michael bennet. republicans had the state of delaware solidly in the r column because their guy, mike castle, a legend in delaware, was running. he's mr. delaware, a popular former governor, a moderate with a record of working with
democrats and he was projected to stop the democratic candidate by double digits and then he lost the primary, and he didn't just lose the primary. he lost the primary to a perennial joke candidate who later had to publicly assure voters she was not in fact a witch. >> i'm not a witch. i'm nothing you've heard. i'm you. >> she's also not u.s. senator today. christine o'donnell defeated mike castle in the primary. the result is one republican strategists lamented straight out of harry reid's dream journal. that bid went to the democrats easy. speaking of harry reid's dream journal, in nevada, the gop establishment was pulling for a candidate named sue lowden. that came after she said this. >> you know, before we all started having health care in the olden days, our grandparents would bring a chicken to the doctor. they would say, i'll paint your
house. that's the old days of what people would do to get health care with their doctors. doctors are very sympathetic people. >> the good old days. the gop establishment was so desperate to oust harry reid, they voted for a woman to barter livestock. but they wanted sharron angle. they wanted a candidate who hinted at privatizing social security and armed insurrection among other things. >> i don't know that all of you are latino. some of you look a little more asian to me, i don't know that. we're a melting pot in this country. my grandchildren are evidence of that. i'm evidence of that. i have been called the first asian legislator in our nevada state assembly. >> have you now? just another entry in harry reid's dream journal. the tea party wanted sharron angle.
here's the thing. so did harry reid. in fact, harry reid's people ran ads in the primary attacking lowden with the express intent of making angle the nominee. >> can this doctor take this chicken to a gas station, to a grocery store? >> i think it's a little out of touch. >> totally fantasyland. >> sounds like a joke. >> can he pay his mortgage with it? >> together, the democrats and tea party were unstoppable. they got angle and reid not only won re-election, he remains senate majority leader. if those three seats were where republicans had a winning candidate before they replaced them with a less winning candidate, mitch mcconnell would be majority leader today. you might think republicans and maybe even the tea party would have learned their lesson. this should be the year that republicans avenge their 2010 losses. a great opportunity for them. democrats are defending 23 seats compared to the republicans'
ten. once again, democrats and tea partiers are working together. in missouri, they teamed up to pick, hey, claire mccaskill's opponent, todd akin. in the weeks ramping up to the primary, they ran ads giving akin rave reviews. >> todd akin, the crusader against bigger government. he would completely eliminate the departments of education and energy, and privatize social security. todd's pro family agenda would outlaw many forms of contraception. >> it's turning out to be a very smart investment on mccaskill's part. meanwhile, in indiana, richard mourdoch took out the conservative but not yet conservative enough richard lugar. today, mourdoch and joe donnelly are neck in neck in what had been expected to be a walk for lugar. last week, nate silver categorized the fate as a toss-up. 50 republicans, 49 democrats,
and one independent, he predicted. that was before todd akin lit his candidacy aflame, and now this tea party insurgent who owed nothing to the party doesn't want to leave the race. all to say if harry reid is majority leading come next year, he might owe his friends in the tea party a thank you card. turn now to howard fineman, nbc news political analyst and editor of the "huffington post" media grew. good to see you. >> hi, ezra. >> why can't the gop establishment better control the primaries? they had a sort of practice run in 2010, tough losses there. you would have thought by by 2012, they would have figured out how to have this in hand. it doesn't seem to have worked out that way. >> it's just this irritating thing called voting, ezra. they try to get rid of it if they could, but it's still in fashion here in the united states in some places. including in missouri. i got to say today was an amazing spectacle because we
were watching and listening to backroom threats and arm twisting in public in real time as republicans and conservatives frantically tried to force akin out of the race. if you happened to be listening to sean hannity, who is kind of the last line of defense before the 6:00 eastern deadline, he didn't know whether to beg or to threaten. karl rove, the mastermind of the money, withdrew all his money from todd akin. the -- mitt romney, soon to be nominated, said the same thing. paul ryan called, although paul ryan apparently stopped short of demanding his soul mate, akin, get out of the race. four republican former senators in missouri said the same thing, but the problem they've got is that todd akin is six terms in the house. he's got his own independent base. he's a very hard-line right to
lifer. straight down the line, as hard as you can get. you remember how paul ryan said nobody is more pro life than me? well, the other guy who is no more -- you can't be more pro life than is todd akin. he's got that national support, and i have to say, i was pretty impressed with the way he stood up to them all, but he lived in a different universe from them, ezra. a different world, and it's a world within the republican party that the republican party created over a couple generations. i followed this personhood movement, wrote about it in my book. that started as a fringe theory. it's now absolutely central to the identity of the republican party. and it's enshrined in their platform. it could cost them the senate. nate silver's totals are right, but now it could end up flipping by one vote, which would give it to the democrats even if mitt romney won. >> i'm actually interested in this because silver's analysis, i found it persuasive. how hard does the map get
without missouri? you look at 23 seats being defended by democrats to 10. you think that seems like a fairly easy sweep for the republicans. they only need a couple of the seats. i guess a large number of them are safe. what is it that happens that changed the math so dramatically here? >> looking at a couple of the states. nate says and i think he's probably right that a couple states like nebraska and wisconsin have moved somewhat in the republican direction. by the way, i think wisconsin may have moved somewhat more in the republican direction. >> where tommy thompson beat the tea party challenger. >> and also, paul ryan is popular in wisconsin. in a lot of other places, democrats have shored up their support. things have broken their way in places like nevada, for example, right now i think that looks good. washington state, west virginia, connecticut, hawaii, ohio. all of those are looking pretty solid for the democrats. where they have been looking not quite so solid.
so that makes -- that's another reason why karl rove and mitt romney and paul ryan and mitch mcconnell were frantic about this. because it really could come down to missouri in the senate, and the key thing here is if the democrats pick up that one additional seat, then it doesn't matter if mitt romney is elected. paul ryan won't get to cast the deciding vote to organize the senate. >> howard fineman, separating the solid from the not so solid. thank you very much. >> thank you. up next, what if? what would happen if the world's population jumped at the same time, all of them in rhode island? we have a fascinating science experiment/dooms day scenario, and it's coming up. on imy0'..
welcome back. okay, i am going to tell you something and i'm asking that when i am done, you do not immediately all of you steal all of my lunch money all at once. one of my favorite websites is an internet comic about science and math. it's called xkcd. they have a blog called "what if?" and they answer weird what if kinds of questions. for instance, what if everyone on earth stood as close to each other as they could and jumped, everyone landing on the ground at the same instant? scientists tried to test the theory in real life. there was a world jump day back in 2006. doesn't look so coordinated.
an environmental group tried to get everyone to jump in '09, but they didn't have the buy-in of 7 billion people or of the ability to move all of them to one place. what if they did? they suggest we magically transport everybody into one place or imagine what would happen. everyone crowd into an area the size of rhode island. actually, let's make it rhode island. picture 7 billion crowded together with a single purpose in stately rhode island at noon, they all jump. now, physicists say that would send a pulse of pressure into the earth's surface, but the force dissipates quickly. you would hear the roar of billions of feet landing across rhode island, the sound might even last several seconds, but that would be about it. since the earth outweighs us by a factor of, oh, 10 trillion, our jump would push us less than an atom's width if at all. the particular innovation in this thought experiment is they
don't end the thought experiment there. after all, after jumping, people probably wonder why are we all in rhode island? maybe they plan the trip back to dublin or wherever they're from. now, the entire crowd of 7 billion is trying to get out of rhode island all at once. cell phones get overrode, become useless. highways totally impassable. they predict you would be trapped in the biggest traffic jam in history. electricity would fail. we can't get fuel. people trying to make their way to new york or boston on foot, and meanwhile, crops all over the world are dying, we're not making much medicine. grocery stores get looted, we're left with essentially the ruins of an abandoned civilization. meanwhile, the earth's orbit is totally unaffected. maybe trying that out not such a good idea after all.
still to come, mitt romney and paul ryan insist they're saving medicare. but at what cost? we'll look at the drastic cuts their budget would make to medicaid. and what does our trash say about the american economy? you'll be surprised the link between garbage and the gdp. stay tuned. [ gnome ] enjoying your holiday? ooo no. the hotel lost our reservation. nonsense! you book at travelocity, your reservation's guaranteed. well, i did not book with travelocity, okay?!? [ female announcer ] get the travelocity guarantee any way you book, including our new app. you'll never roam alone.
i got to tell you, when mitt romney picked paul ryan to be his vice presidential candidate, i was super excited. i mean, way too excited, because putting paul ryan on the ticket meant one thing. meant budget talk. and i love talking about budgets. in particular, i love talking about paul ryan's budget because i have had more time trying to understand it than any human being should, but i have been disappointed, since he was tapped to be number two, the robin to romney's batman, the vice president to the ceo, we haven't gotten a lot of budget. what we have gotten is a lot of medicare talk.
>> so far in the past week, the real news is they have been talking medicare. >> paul ryan has taken the courageous steps to bring this issue to the forefront. >> he really opens up the medicare debate. >> i think people are finally relieved that there's someone with a political courage to have this discussion. no one had the guts to do it until paul ryan actually came along. >> you know the weird thing about this focus on medicare? paul ryan's budget isn't particularly focused on medicare. and that's even truer for mitt romney's budget which really isn't focused on medicare, at least in the short term. in the next decade, paul ryan's most recent budget keeps the cuts as part of obama's care act, and that's it. the voucher system you heard about, it happens, but not for ten years. not until after the hypothetical presidency has ended its hypothetical second term.
if you have two guys from the republican party running for president on a program that says you can't cut even a dollar for medicare for retirees, but they'll pass legislation that will remake medicare in an entirely different way, trust us. you may not want to assume that policy is a total lock. but he says his budget cuts more than $5 trillion in the next decade. less than a trillion of that is coming from medicare. romney says his budget cuts about $7 trillion from the budget in the next decade and not a dollar, not a dime, not a penny comes from medicare. and neither romney nor ryan want to cut social security, and both want to increase spending on defense. okay, so what does that leave? if you're not cutting medicare or social security or defense, you want trillions of dollars of cuts. you have taken more than half of the federal budget off the table, but you know what is
mainly left, the big pot of money you can still cut? programs for poor people. if you look at ryan's specific cuts, where his money really comes from. a big chunk of it is programs for poor people. in fact, the center for budget and party policies estimated more than 6 of every 10 dollars ryan cuts from the federal budget is coming from programs for the poor. take medicaid. he cuts nearly $1.4 trillion from medicare over the next ten years. that's a 34% cut. more than a third to the program's expected spending over the next decade. those cuts, unlike the cuts to medicare, are specific and they begin immediately. estimates from the nonpartisan urban institute suggest that if they are made, about 30 million people could lose their health insurance. many, by the way, children. and ryan repeals the affordable care act, too. that's where some of his medicaid comes from, but he also knocked all of the subsidies for lower income families to get private insurance. that's another 15 million or so
people who would have had insurance and aren't getting it. maybe the big way it saves money is 45 million people will lose health insurance they otherwise would have gotten or their coverage will become worse. and ryan's budget cuts $134 billion from food stamps, which is enough to kick about 8 million to 10 million people out of the program. ryan cuts $166 billion from the portion of the budget that houses our education training employment and social services. we don't know how he would apportion the cuts, but the documents he's released said a big chunk will hit pell grants. you can keep going with this down the line. everything we know suggests that mitt romney's on the same page as his running mate. it's actually important to remember, romney's budget is much more aggressive than ryan's. it's less specific, so it gets less attention, but it's much more aggressive. he has about $5.3 trillion in cuts in the next decade.
romney is looking for $7 trillion and he's not keeping ryan and obama's medicare savings and he's increasing spending on defense, so it keeps going up. according to the center on budget and policy priorities, to make the numbers add up, you have to assume by the end of his presidency, mitt romney will have cut every single federal program that is not medicare, social security, or defense, by 57%. every program not medicare, social security, or defense, by 57%. now, because i live in the real world, i don't assume he's going to do that. i assume mitt romney's budget is a fantasy meant to trick republicans who haven't looked closely at the numbers and it's never, ever going to happen. when romney does talk spending cuts, he tends to focus, giving more evidence on things like repealing obama care, privatizing amtrak, and cutting arts funding and ending subsidies. whatever you think of the
programs, repealing obama care increases the deficit, but when romney gets kind of serious, even though he's still kind of vague, the big categories he identifies for cuts, and i'm quoting from his speech in detroit, are medicaid and food stamps, housing subsidies and training. you turn medicare into a voucher program in the future, spend more on defense now, and cut the hell out of programs for the poor to pay for it. they need to do this in part because they simply refuse to raise taxes. if you believe their pledges and their budge, they would prefer to cut health care for the poor than raise taxes on the rich by a penny. that's their budget, what their numbers say, and that should be the conversation we're having. at least it should be part of it. joining me now to have that conversation is jared bernstein, economist adviser to joe biden. now a senior fellow at the center on budget policies and an msnbc contributor. it's good to see you.
>> thank you. nice to be here. >> you know these numbers better than me. what i have missed, what i have gotten wrong or incomplete? >> you did a very thorough accounting. the only thing i would add is that you're actually a tiny been generous on their tax cut agenda. it's not nearly that these guys make the bush tax cuts permanent. it's that they double down on them. if you think of the bush tax cuts as costing something like $4 trillion, maybe $4.3 trillion over three years, they're talking about adding tax cuts that are equal in magnitude to those. this is why we at the center have talked about this as robin hood in reverse on steroids. it's not just that you're cutting programs for the poor. so deeply, as you expressed. it really strains, but you're cutting the heck out of taxes, particularly of those at the high end of the income scale. it's quite earth worldly.
>> every time this gets to something i really would like to talk about with you, every time we talk about the romney and ryan budgets in the press, every time you see a graph showing what they do to the budget, what is basically embedded in that? what is being assumed every time you hear about the deficit reduction? they take the tax plans which above and beyond the bush tax cuts are trillions of dollars, i believe, paul ryan's is in the $4 trillion. >> they're both above $4 trillion. >> they tell you they won't cost money. they tell the congressional budget office they won't cost any money. and they don't say how. they say we'll cut other parts of the tax code, deductions and loopholes and exclusions and the like to pay for it. to pay for paul ryan's tax plan, you would need to cut almost every tax break in the code out. employer health care deduction, and this is from a party that has refused to pay for taxes. so i don't see how you can buy that. i don't see how you can say
until they name the cuts, which they haven't, that these tax plans are deficit neutral. if they're not, these plans blow up the deficit. >> right. it's interesting because they have, as you said, particularly paul ryan and particularly regarding programs for the poor, they have actually been fairly specific on their spending cuts, at least, again, as it invokes cuts for programs that help economically vulnerable families. they have been extremely vague on how they're going to offset the revenue losses from their tax cuts. there was an exercise done and i know you know about this because you wrote about it nicely. by a nonpartisan group called the tax policy center. and they asked the following question, suppose you took all of the loopholes, all of the tax expenditures currently enjoyed by the richest folks who benefit the most from ryan and romney's tax cuts, and you ended all of those loopholes, would you by that kind of experiment be able to offset those revenue losses from those tax cuts, and the answer they found is no.
so here it even gets a little worse. not only would you be living through all of the cuts you just mentioned on the spending side, but if you really want to make the tax cuts revenue neutral, you would have to raise taxes on middle and low income households. >> and people have gone to the romney campaign and said how will this work, and they don't have an answer. but if they do have an answer, you're going to be one of the first people i ask if it makes sense. thank you very much. >> thank you, bye-bye. >> coming up, a trashy new economic study. shows how our waste is tied to gdp growth. i'm shift through all of the garbage and bring you the numbers next.
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you may not know it, but there are fascinating secrets buried in our garbage. about our money, about our economy, about how well our country is doing. our trash could be an indication of how our economy is doing, how the global economy, even, is doing. my colleague at the washington post recently pointed out a trashy chart from economist michael mcdonagh. he has worked out the trash to gdp indicator. that's gross domestic product. it shows the u.s. gdp growth tracks the rail cars of garbage tracked to the landfills. it's an 82.4% statistical correlation with the gdp growth since 2001. compare that to 73% for lumber loads, 72% for petroleum, and 79% for food. as mcdonagh recently explained
to marketplace.org, is because it's not tied to a single part of the economy. it's people simply throwing things out from the top to the bottom, the rich to the poor. you build a new building, you have to knock down the one that was there before. you buy a new couch, you have to put the old one in the alley. if you eat at mcdonald's, you have to throw out your trash afterward. you get the point. now, let's turn back to that original trash to gdp chart. as you can see, the garbage indicator appears to have fallen drastically. this could be a sign the u.s. economy is headed for a rough patch or it could mean that trash is becoming detached from the economy or it could show that the correlation is just a load of garbage. see how we did that? governor mitt romney has a cash advantage over president obama. how much will it matter? eugene robinson joins me next.
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looks good for the president. but remember, republicans didn't know who their nominee was going to be. there were months when democrats were donated to obama and republicans were donated to the national campaign. they have $123.7 million in the bank. the romney campaign plus the republican national committee has $185.9 million in the bank. and that advantage has been increasing for the republicans month by month. this chart from our friends over at the washington post, the fix blog, compares the cash on hand levels for obama plus the dnc versus romney and the rnc in recent months. we have moved from a $58 million advantage on the obama side to a $62 million advantage for romney. the major romney affiliated super pacs have tens of millions more in the bank than the obama ones. american crossroads, the karl rove operation, is sitting on a healthy $29 million. restore our future, $20 million.
not so bad. the major obama affiliated super pac has $4 million. not so much money for this sort of contest. so here's what we can say with some certainty. romney is winning the money race. he's winning it big time. and he's pressing that advantage. according to nbc's first read, nearly $530 million has been spent in advertising in this election with team romney spending $292 million and team obama spending $248 million. again, a $44 million advantage in actual spending, money gone out for team romney. right now, as we speak, romney and his allies are outspending the president and his allies by much more than that, by 2 to 1. yet, the funny thing about all that, the polls don't seem to be moving. to explain to us why the polls don't seem to be moving comes eugene robinson, pulitzer prize winning columnist for the washington post newspaper.
good to see you. >> great to be here. >> despite all of the money dumped into the election, a little more of it on romney's side, president obama has kept for months this fairly durable persistent lead in the polls. the latest poll gives him a 4-point advantage. so why isn't the money mattering more? >> well, first of all, we're comparing a whole lot of money to a whole lot of money plus a lot more. right? so it's not like the obama campaign is poor. and there's a certain saturation point. so many dollars, so little air time here in the washington, d.c. media market, which serves northern virginia, important region in one of the most important swing states. you just can't breathe, you don't get any respite from the political ads. and there are probably more anti-obama ads than pro obama ads, but there are plenty of pro obama ads and in fact i think there's a saturation point.
the second factor i think is that mitt romney, you know, the candidacy has yet to catch fire, and the poll numbers really aren't moving, as you said. >> i think that's a very good point, and so i try to think about it this way. that obama is going to have more money than any presidential candidate in history and mitt romney is going to have a whole lot more money than that. yet, when you think about the election, you're dealing primarily if you talk to the campaigns, eight, maybe ten states and a certain number of undecided swing voters within them. people who know the president well are not engaged. it's a large amount of money to reach a fairly small amount of people. that raises the question, is the obama campaign doing a poor job fund-raising or does it not matter? are they right to put their money into other things, like, by the way, being president. >> they would like to have more
money, right, the money is never unimportant. it's just not decisive, i think, in this case. i think the obama campaign will have plenty of money and indeed it has some organizational advantages in many of these swing states. number of offenses, kind of boots on the ground of the obama campaign started a lot earlier. they have their strategy in chicago. and i think they're pleased with the way it's going on. now, but that super pac money, though, i think that can potentially be decisive, not in the presidential contest, but down ticket. imagine restore our future piling into a congressional district at the last minute with just wheelbarrows of money. that can move the needle. >> i completely agree with that. to change the subject to the congressional elections. todd akin tweeted about how the quote liberal media is trying to make him jump out. it was sean hannity. is he the liberal media now?